A cooperating teacher is an experienced classroom teacher who serves as a mentor and supervisor to a preservice teacher who is placed in his or her classroom to fulfill a required field-based component of his or her teacher preparation program. Educational research has repeatedly confirmed that cooperating teachers play a critical role in preservice teacher preparation. This entry provides a description of cooperating teachers’ roles and responsibilities, highlights the important influence that cooperating teachers have on preservice teacher development, and presents the issue of preparing cooperating teachers for their work with preservice teachers.


Clinical experiences are a central feature of early childhood teacher preparation programs in the United States. During these field-based experiences, preservice teachers have the opportunity to observe, develop, and practice critical teaching skills ...

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